Angevin Empire.


The Angevin Empire

Historians have attributed the rise of the Angevin Empire to a mixture of calculation, skill, luck and respect of the local customs of the conquered lands. The Angevin Empire territory extending from Ireland to Pyrenees. At its height, it was ruled by the Angevin Plantagenet dynasty. The ruling Plantagenets were Richard I of England, John of England, and King Henry II of England.

Henry II of England

Henry II

King Henry II

The King Henry II had a pivotal role in the formation of the Angevin empire. In the period 1120-1154, France was not united. Powerful nobles had dominion over separate regions. When his father died, Henry inherited his seat of power and married Eleanor of Aquitaine. By the year 1154, Henry II had emerged as the most powerful lord in France by seizing control of other territories through death, and marriages.

Geoffrey of Anjou Monument


In the period 1154-1172, Henry extended his sphere of influence by having control over northern England, Normandy, Brittany, east Ireland, and south Wales. However, the seed of destruction of the empire germinated in the period 1172-1189.  During this time, King Henry II power had increased tremendously he had land and power and many sons.

His constant conflict with his wife was to prove disastrous for the Angevin Empire. When a civil war erupted in England, Henry sons Geoffrey, Richard, and young Henry so this as a window of opportunity for them to have control over Normandy.

This was the beginning of Anarchy for Henry II family. Richard was to emerge victorious at the end when he forced his father to submit. Shortly, Henry II died of exhaustion, and the empire was passed to Richard.

King Richard

Angevin empire

with the support of his mother Eleanor was to hold the Angevin Empire in the period 1172-1189 despite being imprisoned and ship wrecked while returning from a crusade.

When King Richard passed on, he was succeeded by his brother John. King John leadership was very weak and lost much territory of the Angevin Empire and losing control of areas such as Aquitaine and Brittany.

Under the leadership of King John, the empire crumbled. Six years into his reign, much of the territory king II had captured was lost. He also had constant quarrels with the archbishop of Canterbury.

He was later forced to sign the Magna Carta. Under the leadership of his son, Henry III, the French forces were driven across the English Channel marking the fall of the Angevin Empire.